Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

View All Posts

Aug 30

The Debts You Leave Behind

Posted on August 30, 2019 at 12:22 PM by Melissa Dalton

Last week’s blog post featured a summary of Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ life. This week, we are going to dig a little deeper and investigate Bishop Jones’ personal estate record. When Bishop Jones died in 1932, his personal property and assets were appraised at $49,282 (See Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 Total Assets (JPG)
Fig. 1 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

Some of his personal property included several heifers; mules; pigs; brood sows; jersey cows; cultivators; a tractor and tractor plow; several tracts of land in Xenia Township; rental properties in Columbus; hypothecated notes from Wilberforce University; and second mortgage notes from Heard Chapel A.M.E. Church in North Cambridge, Massachusetts and St. John’s Church in New York City (See Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Mortgage (JPG)
Fig. 2 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

Unfortunately, Bishop Jones was in a large amount of debt - $73,132.50 to be exact. This amount in today’s economy equates to over a million dollars. Certain debts included Xenia back taxes that totaled $2,458 (an equivalent today of almost $46,000) and several different bank notes and loans (See Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Partial List of Schedule of Debts (JPG)
Fig. 3 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

In order to settle the debts, the administrator of Bishop Jones’ estate, Gilbert Jones (who was also Bishop Jones’ son), sold many of the tracts of land in Xenia Township to the People’s Building & Savings Company in Xenia (See Fig. 4).

Fig. 4 Tracts of land (JPG)
Fig. 4 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

To pay the Citizen’s National Bank’s promissory notes, Gilbert Jones and Wilberforce University made a compromise in which Wilberforce University would pay $6,300 of the total promissory notes secured by Citizen’s National Bank. The Columbus properties, the agricultural assets, and Bishop Jones’ stocks were also sold.

In addition, Gilbert Jones traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Boston and Holyoke, Massachusetts, and New York City to collect money due to Bishop Jones’ estate and to examine and inspect the conditions of the properties held by Bishop Jones. Gilbert Jones had to keep a record of his travel expenses (See Figs. 5 & 6).

Fig. 5 Receipt 1 (JPG)
Fig. 5 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

Fig. 6 Receipt 2 (JPG)
Fig. 6 Bishop Joshua Henry Jones’ Estate, Probate Box 723 (Greene County Archives)

It was not until March 1947, that the final record of Bishop Jones’ estate was recorded and the balance due was zero dollars. It was well known that Bishop Jones was a very generous man that helped several churches and institutions; however, there have been claims that he was not a diligent financial record keeper. Estate records, such as Bishop Jones’, help give an account of one's life story.

Until Next Time!

Sources:
Greene County Archives
Jones Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church

Comments

You must log in before leaving your comment